Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of a former dictator, becomes the new president of the Philippines | abroad

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, scored a landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election. This victory represents a major boost for the Marcos family, who were expelled from the country after the 1986 uprising, but who have already occupied some important positions in recent years. According to observers, Marcus Jr. Public opinion has tilted in his favour, thanks to a massive disinformation campaign.

Marcus Jr., 64, has nearly 30 million votes now that more than 90 percent of the votes have been counted. That is more than double the percentage of his main opponent, opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Marcus Jr., nicknamed “Pong Pong,” actually gave a cautious victory speech. In it, he thanked his supporters for months of hard work. “Let’s wait until 100 percent of the votes are counted and then we can celebrate,” she said.

About 67 million Filipinos have been called to the polls for the general election, which also includes the election of a vice president, as well as members of parliament, half of the Senate, provincial governors and thousands of other local officials.

According to COMELEC, an unofficial election commission, Marcos Jr. received 29.9 million votes, or twice the number of votes for current Vice President Leni Robredo. Voter turnout was about 80 percent. 93.8 percent of the votes have already been counted, but official election results are not expected until the end of the month.

Controversial family

After a popular uprising over allegations of voter fraud, the Marcos family were expelled to Hawaii in 1986, but they returned to the Philippines in the 1990s and were able to maintain influence over the country’s politics thanks to their wealth and long-distance connections.

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Marcus Jr. himself has been a governor, congressman, and senator in the past. His sister Amy is a senator and his mother Imelda – his father’s widow – served four terms in Congress. His son Ferdinand Alexander is also expected to win a seat in the Philippine Congress today.

Duterte’s daughter

During his election campaign, Marcos did not suggest any real political measures, but he essentially conveyed a vague message of “unity.” During his six years as president, he is expected to continue the policies of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. His ruthless approach proved extremely popular and helped him quickly cement his position of power.

A major asset of Marcos’ campaign was that he was able to sign Duterte’s daughter Sarah Duterte-Carpio as a running mate. An unofficial count showed that Duterte-Carpio had won the vice presidency with more than three times as many votes as her main rival.

Sarah Duterte Carpio has sided with Marcos as the vice presidential candidate. © AP

Analysts expect Marcus to focus on completing Duterte’s costly infrastructure upgrade, as well as strengthening ties with China. However, some fear that the existing problems of corruption and nepotism in the Philippines will be exacerbated.

disinformation campaign

During his campaign, Marcos was criticized for not participating in presidential debates and not appearing in the media. This allowed him to escape critical questions and maintain control of his message, which was jointly distributed by influencers and bloggers who were given ample access to his campaign events. After all, Marcos’ campaign was primarily carried out via social media and targeted young Filipinos born after the 1986 revolution. It included widespread disinformation that disseminated historical information about the martial law that followed his father’s 14-year dictatorship.

Marcos campaign team denies spreading false information.

According to historians, the Marcos family is one of the most famous debauchery regimes in Asia. Famous for its lavish lifestyle, the family denies pouring billions of public money into its private accounts, claiming that such “lies” are spread by opponents.

Duterte supporters at a campaign rally last Saturday.

Duterte supporters at a campaign rally last Saturday. © ANP / EPA

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Denton Watson

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